The Happy Arab News Service




Sunday, August 8, 2010




Russia Burning

Links of the week


BBC: Reading Arabic 'hard for brain' (reading Arabic requires a different brain configuration than other languages)


Ecclectica: One more reason to default (Present day debt as a tax on future generations)


BBC: Syrian four-year drought triggers rural exodus

The World Food Programme (WFP) has started to distribute food to more than 200,000 people and the Red Cross has funded water deliveries.

The UN estimates around 800,000 people have left their homes.


The New York Times: Does Your Language Shape How You Think? This article quite shocked me by the connection between language and sense of direction.


Sublime Oblivion: on Middle East Geopolitics, Afghanistan and Iran & the Bomb (I am commenting as NB)


Distressed Volatility: The Age of Gas Begins in Earnest

Major new energy issues are about to transform still further the strategic balance of the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with foreseeable consequences for the global energy market over the coming decade. Soon-to-be-evident new wealth in the Red Sea/Horn of Africa region will transform the intensity of conflict there, which in turn will affect not only the region, but the world’s most important trading route: the Red Sea/Suez sea line of communication (SLOC).

Much of the anticipated change is developing around the flood of new discoveries and exploitation of natural gas fields in the Indian Ocean region, particularly extending through Ethiopia, Egypt, and other countries of the Red Sea region. Apart from the impending influx of new energy wealth into the region, facilitating new levels of confidence and capability in the security environment, the boom of the “Gas Age” also seems set to promise — within a decade — an oversupply of gas to the world market, almost certainly precipitating a collapse in price for gas and petroleum.



Martin Wolf: The political genius of supply-side economics

In this way, the Republicans were transformed from a balanced-budget party to a tax-cutting party. This innovative stance proved highly politically effective, consistently putting the Democrats at a political disadvantage. It also made the Republicans de facto Keynesians in a de facto Keynesian nation. Whatever the rhetoric, I have long considered the US the advanced world’s most Keynesian nation – the one in which government (including the Federal Reserve) is most expected to generate healthy demand at all times, largely because jobs are, in the US, the only safety net for those of working age.

The link above can be also titled "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" or even better "Sheep in Wolf's Clothing". Since what passes these days for conservatism in America shares very little with the tough and austere attitudes usually associated with free market oriented conservative movements. It's indeed some kind of supply side Keynesianism. Here is my own take on the same subject.


Thomas Friedman: Steal This Movie

These people are not in majority, but they are a sizable minority and their influence in political and cultural circles of the developed nations exceeds their numbers. Israelis who are interested in squaring themselves with the sane part of their support base in the West, should read this piece and pay attention. You don't have to agree, but this is as lucid exposition of what these people think about us as you can get.


Sublime Oblivion: Russia Burning: not Apocalypse, but its Prelude


LA Times: Yemen smolders amid Houthi insurgency and Al Qaeda attacks

"In that area war is a way of life," said Abdul-Ghani Iryani, a political analyst. "It's not a breakdown of the system, it is the system."

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010




The Afghan Girl 2010

Well, I bet I am one of the million of bloggers who've been all doing the same post these days, but hard to resist. This is Sharbat Gula - the famous Afghan Girl featured on National Geographic cover in 1985.



And this is Time's Afghan Girl 2010.

The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. Her in-laws treated her like a slave, Aisha pleaded. They beat her. If she hadn't run away, she would have died. Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved. Aisha's brother-in-law held her down while her husband pulled out a knife. First he sliced off her ears. Then he started on her nose.

This didn't happen 10 years ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. It happened last year.

Source: Time

Really, what kind of mental disorder is afflicting these people?

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 7:45 PM

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